About

Anonymous? No way. Pretentious? Please. Bite Club foists a fork at everything from farm markets to four-star restaurants; taco trucks to top chefs, getting to the oooey, gooey creamy center in no-time flat.

So, who do I think I am?
Hmm. That’s a bit existential, but here’s the 411: BiteClub isn’t about the old school restaurant critic schtick. Frankly I don’t have the attention span to try to teach anyone the history of Russian cooking in a 1500 word article or deconstruct whether the paprika is Hungarian or otherwise. I either like a restaurant or I don’t. You either agree with me, or you don’t. And that’s the fun of it. Here, you actually get to talk back and offer up your opinion of my opinion. Er, or something like that. Civility counts.

I’m not an “official” food critic for the Press Democrat. This is a blog. With lots of opinions. About food. Take it for what its worth. BiteClub has been nationally recognized by Editor & Publisher Magazine as “Best Entertainment Blog” in 2009. I have been a journalist for more than 16 years, working for publications including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Wired Magazine, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The St. Louis Business Journal, The North Bay Bohemian, Portland Magazine, Edible San Francisco and a whole lot of other folks.

What makes this job fun is that I try to be first to the table. Conventional wisdom dictates a wait of 6 weeks to three-months before judgment, but I stick a butter knife in the logic. Most foodies have come and gone from a new restaurant long before critics get there. We get that service and dishes can take a while to gel, but even with a few foibles it’s pretty easy to spot a winner. And equally easy to spot a trainwreck.

Bottom line: If you’re open and charging full price, you’re going to get my full opinion. And trust me, most chefs know that they’re on stage the second the door opens. I’ve asked them.

Since I’m often an early responder, I try to be fair. Everyone has different standards, and no matter how bad the food, there’s usually someone who’s a fan. I try to find that one sparkling jem (sometimes that can be very difficult) that might be a redeemer.

So there’s my story. I’m a redhead, a Virgo, a mom, Austro-Hungarian-Scotch-Irish, mean as sin if you get my shackles up (so don’t), funny as hell when I drink, a gin-and-tonic sort of lady and someone who eats. A lot. And loves every second of it.

Come along for the ride. Eaters welcome.

PS: McNibs loves it when people recognize him. I mean LOVES it. I hear about it for weeks. So any direct any fan mail to me.

Got a tip or just want to chew the fat? Email me at heather@heatherirwin.com

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